30 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991
All 15 Republics of the former USSR gained independence in the months following the collapse.
On August 19, 1991, the Soviets woke to the news that leader Mikhail Gorbachev was unable to govern for health reasons.
Following that announcement, tanks entered Moscow as a failed coup unfolded.
Boris Yeltsin, the President of the Russian Federation within the USSR, began taking over the Soviet government, ministry by ministry - even issuing a decree banning all Communist Party activities on Russian soil on November 16.
Ukraine voted for independence from the Soviet Union in early December, and a week later, Yeltsin met the leaders of Ukraine & Belarus, who declared that the Soviet Union no longer existed "as a subject of international law and geopolitical reality"
And on December 26, 1991 - the Soviet red flag was lowered for the final time & replaced with the Russian one, a day after Gorbachev stepped down - formally dissolving the USSR.
All 15 Republics of the former USSR gained independence in the following months.
Watch our full report here.